The goal shouldnâ€™t be to give them all books that look like them. It is still difficult to find books with characters of mixed heritage. They have power to craft a character based on who they think is the largest possible audience for that book. That means, avoiding stereotypes and making sure they are inadvertently attaching ethnicity to villainy, for example.
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I get how the baby might look like you â€˜cause itâ€™s growing in your tummy.
The three year old who pleaded for workbooks on letters and numbers and addition and subtraction at the grocery store.
Heâ€™d let me know since the day he was born that he wanted to learn everything as soon as he could.
And the look of betrayal on his face said something else to me as well.
If you didnâ€™t tell me this, what other important things have you not told me?
But thereâ€™s another crop ready to pick too, the crop that keeps me up at night, its fragrance hanging in the air wet and pungent.
Entrepreneurs, the two of us worked all the time in those days building businesses and transforming worn out properties into beautiful living spaces.
Our walnuts flourished, but within a few years, that other crop did too.
Growers come here because the climate is perfect for cultivating their crop.
And law enforcement in this rural, mountainous area is stretched, a guarantee that only a fraction of rule breakers will get caught.
But living here has taught me that it comes with guns, dangerous dogs, other drugs and lots of cash.
And on the other side of our county, a woman was killed in a car crash as deputies sped to the site of a grow.
The most dangerous time is during harvest, when that valuable cash crop is poised to be turned into cash.
They had the wrong address; the pot they sought was across the street.
Tell tale bright green jagged leaves shined brilliantly in the waning sunlight.
Pink sunlight streamed in from perfectly placed skylights, and my favorite color palate surrounded us in our spacious refurbished kitchen.
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And listening to a few simple â€œrulesâ€ like those listed in the epilogue.
She slides into the car crumpling empty granola bar wrappers with her foot.
I drive home gripping the steering wheel tighter and tighter needing to control something.
But rapidly changing demographics of our country have not corresponded to an equally fast change within publishing.
Latino children make up 25% of kids in public school, but only 3% of human characters in childrenâ€™s books.
Thatâ€™s great, but there just arenâ€™t a lot of books where the characters just are an ethnicity.
Traditionally, publishers pick the illustrators for picture books, not the author.
In my case, my characterâ€™s ethnicity served a personal purpose.
I also wanted my own sons to read books that looked like their cousins.
Wait â€˜til they are ready; wait â€˜til they ask, the advice goes.
And one winter morning just after breakfast, my son, age 5, posed the question.
This was the infant who locked onto new faces from the safety of my arms, his expression frozen as he absorbed the new image with disconcerting intensity, until the subject squirmed.
So out came the paper, and we drew circles and halved them and quartered them, and talked about months in a year.
Not when he needed it, not when he asked, but as soon as he was able to understand.
Pear pickers drop skinny ladders in nearby orchards, the last of the soft fruits to be harvested.
We sold our business and moved to a town we had never heard of in a place far away from city life.
We bought the orchard and a run down farmhouse with space to spread out.
A patchwork of local, state, and federal laws ensures that pot will be a lucrative commodity for years to come.
Ten miles away in the other direction, a teenage girl was imprisoned in a small box at a pot farm.
I hadnâ€™t realized that our berries were a fence boardâ€™s width away from a pot field.
We pedaled home and set our buckets down on beautiful new countertops.
Itâ€™s taken me a long time to realize that part of eating well is making friends with hunger.
To feel mildly hungry two or three times a dayâ€”when you are lucky enough to know that another meal is coming soonâ€”is a good thing.
This is our usual routine for our 25 minute ride home every day, unless of course she has something to ask me about her upcoming social plans, and then there is an immediate conversation to make sure they happen.
My husband comes and calms her and says he will take her to the doctor.
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